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Bonus Carp, Lake Michigan

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I spent the last few days fishing with some friends for Salmon and steelhead out on Lake Michigan.

The Marina that the boat was in had huge carp swimming in the harbor and dock area! They were averaging 9 to 20 lbs and cruising around in pods of 5 to 15 fish.

All of the gear on the boat was for trolling the big lake (flashers, spoons, etc) but we did bring fly rods to fish streams in case the lake was too rough.

We caught a bunch of these monster carp on 5 weight and 8 weight rods. It was a blast!

We were sight casting flies ahead of them and when they took the fly the fight was on!

I had one strip out my line to the end of my backing!

I will post pictures once my brother sends me them.

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What marina where you guys at? I grew up in Manitowoc, WI on Lake Michigan and remember seeing huge schools of carp around the marina there. Too bad gas is so pricey, I could use a good visit home.

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I had the same experience in Sturgeon Bay last week. We hit the Steelhead and Salmon during the day, and then dropped some lines of the dock in the evening. All those game-fish hunters may talk trash about carp, but the whole marina was giddy as I pulled in a 24" bull.

They were spawning, but still eating.

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Onemore, I have been seeing those bulls roll around in the marina for years in both bailey's harbor and at algoma. I've done most of my damage with the traditional corn/ hair rig but am gonna try the fly this august when we are out there. Got any recommendations on flys? I am planning on bringing the carp wooley and others. If you have any recommendations I'd appreciate it. thanks

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I do have a recommendation: Hex nymph with bead head and rubber legs in a rust color.

The real trick was in getting them to take the fly. If it was cast right on top of them they would swim or sink away.

Every carp I hooked up with I cast ahead or where I thought they were going to be. I didn't do anything with the fly but let it drop. If it was dropping off to the side and not right in front of them they would get interested and turn and suck it in! It seeemed like the fly had to be at eye level or below. There was some surface gulping and I tried some mayflies, but without success. I also saw the carp chase some dying ailwives -and tried a minnow immitation but they didn't go for that either.

We did catch a few on a san-won worm as well.

Good luck - I hope you get into some.

The fly on the upper right of this picture is similiar to what worked best:



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One other thought - I read the book "Carp on the Fly" and the author recommends the Princes Nymph as one of biggest producers for carp. I never tried the Prince Nymph in Algoma.

I have used a rust colored wooly bugger, and rust colored bead headed "leech" pattern on my home waters with success.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Ron Schara had a clip with the purple martins at St Johns university. 
    •   I was thinking hard work, brains and determination but you liberals always do think a little different. 
    • We have a couple openings if anyone is interested…We will be capped at 15 boats.

      2018 Schedule
      June 2, 2018 – Farm Island
      June 16, 2018 – Upper/Lower Mission
      July 7, 2018 – Clearwater
      July 28, 2018 – Lobster
      August 18, 2018 – Big Birch
      September 8, 2018 – Championship, Lake TBD

      $25 membership per person
      $400 entry per team
      Big Bass $20 per boat at the ramp

      Rules, Payouts and other information listed on the page
      We are a club that has a ton of fun and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
    •   I doubt luck had much to do with it sir. 
    • I saw on a show about a guy living on a point on a lake that had many houses on poles in the water about 20ft from shore. Maybe about 3ft above the water. All the houses were full, It was cool to watch. Easier to maintain at that height, waist deep in water. 
    • I know folks who clean out the martin house's every year.....
    • I rinsed them and put them out whole.
    • Well, fellas,  lemme tell ya:  I've had one terrific life and done more things than you'd probably believe.  In fact I told my wife one evening shortly after we had moved to the lower 48, "I think you had best cool it with some of your recollections of our time and adventures in the North because I get the feeling most people won't believe you anyway. And to this day we don't shoot off our mouth too much just for that reason. EVERYBODY should be as lucky as I have been!!  
    • Sounds like there will be 17 guns offered!! Come  on the odds of winning a gun are great